Clean Energy Inititative

INVITE: Wed, October 31 - Hydraulic Fracturing: Challenges and Opportunities

In recent years new advances in technology have changed our understanding of our nation’s energy future.  “Hydraulic Fracturing” is a perfect example and offers America tremendous opportunity to have greater control of our own energy destiny.  The potential is huge, but of course, like any new advance, there are risks.  On September 25, we will host a panel discussion to help us better understand both the opportunities and challenges of these new technological advances and the potential of natural gas and oil shale. Among the panelists joining our moderator Kyle Simpson, Senior Energy Advisor for Hogan Lovells, LLC will be Dr. Mark Zoback, Professor of Earth Science, Stanford University, well known for his work in seismic imaging, Melanie Kenderdine, Executive Director of the MIT University Energy Initiative, Greg Staple, CEO of the American Clean Skies Foundation andAmy Mall, Senior Program Analyst, Land and Wildlife Programs for National Resources Defense Council.

Join us Wednesday, October 31st, for a lunchtime discussion at the NDN event space located at 729 15th Street on the first floor.  Lunch will be served at 12:Noon and the program begins at 12:15pm.  

Please RSVP today and feel free to invite others you think might be interested!

DOD Secretary Panetta States Climate Change is a National Security Issue, Federal Agencies Promote Green Technology

In a May 2 speech to the Environmental Defense Fund, a leading environmental organization, Secretary Leon Panetta made clear the Defense Department views climate change and rising oil prices as a national security concern.  Panetta dismissed any politicization by saying that rising oil prices and reliance on oil supplies from the middle east  has significant implications for the U.S. military.  Analysts have estimated that the Pentagon has spent $65 billion to $85 billion a year protecting Middle East allies and ensuring the flow of petroleum to world markets since 1980.  

“The quest for energy will also continue to shape, and reshape, the strategic environment — from the destabilizing consequences of resource competition to the efforts of potential adversaries to block the free flow of energy supplies,” Panetta said. “These strategic and practical considerations weighed heavily on us as we developed our new defense strategy.”

The Pentagon has requested more than $1 billion for efficient aircraft and aircraft engines, hybrid electric drives for ships, improved generators and micro-grids for forward-deployed bases, and combat vehicle energy efficiency programs. Another $1 billion was requested for energy efficiency.  The Army, Navy and Air Force have committed to producing at least 3 gigawatts of renewable energy at their installations in the coming years.

In the absence of legislative opportunities for a clear energy strategy, the Obama Administration has used the federal agencies to promote green technologies.  In a speech to our Clean Energy Initiative on April 25, Secretary Salazar outlined the Department of Interior's 'All of the Above' energy strategy.  

In the same vein, last December, the Administration launched a their We Can’t Wait initiative, challenging federal  agencies to make at least $2 billion worth of energy-efficiency upgrades over the next two years. Meeting the first of several milestones of the challenge, federal agencies have identified $2.1 billion of projects that will pay for themselves using performance-based contracts.  

The wind industry installed 1,695 megawatts of capacity in the first quarter of 2012, a 50 percent increase from the year before. But the industry remains on pins and needles over the rapidly approaching expiration of the Production Tax Credit, according to the American Wind Energy Association's quarterly market report.

Solar Tariff Panel Continues Clean Energy Initiative's Body of Work in the Field of Solar Energy

NDN's Clean Energy Initiative will host a panel this Friday,16th titled Solar Tariffs:  Smart Policy or Protectionism? Joining us for this discussion will be three leading experts in international trade and solar technologies: 

William Morin who will address the disruption tariffs could have on the US solar industry and the overall value chain. Morin is Senior Director for Government Affairs at Applied Materials. 

Lewis Leibowitz –who will address the impact of these tariff cases on American manufacturers that depend on imports to be competitive in the marketplace. Leibowitz is an international trade attorney with Hogan Lovells, LLC. 

Elizabeth Drake –will address trade remedy laws as a legitimate tool for addressing trade distortions caused to domestic manufacturers by dumping and subsidies. Drake is an international trade attorney with Stewart & Stewart, LLC 

This panel is the seventh in our "Clean Energy Solution Series" to showcase the leaders, companies, ideas and policies hastening our transition to a cleaner, safer and more distributed energy paradigm. 

Our Clean Energy Program has a large body of work in the field of solar and solar technologies. 

In June of last year, we hosted a hugely successful panel on Rooftop Solar featuring Danny Kennedy, the founder of the innovative and successful Sungevity, the fastest growing solar company in the world, Andrea Ludke of the Solar Foundation and Rachel Tronstein of the Energy Efficiency Office of Department of Energy also participated in this panel.  

Michael Moynihan, Director and founder of Electricity 2.0, wrote a well receieved paper, Solar Energy:  The Case for Action which ourlined action items to taken in the road forward to full integration of solar into the 21st Century marketplace.  

In June of 2008, our Clean Energy Initiative hosted "Energy and the American Way of Life" which addressed solar energy in the next millenium and featured Roger Efrid, President of Suntech, Greg Kats of Good Energies, Jack Hidary of the Hidary Foundation, and Shyam Kannan, LEED® AP, Vice President Director of Research and Development, RCLCO, a real estate consulting company.

I look forward to seeing you Friday, March 16th at 12Noon at NDN event space located at 729 15th Street, Washington, DC.

Senator Bingaman's Statement on Senate Floor is a Detailed and Reasoned Explanation of Oil and Gas In America Today

Senator Jeff Bingaman, Chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, is well known for his reasoned and bipartisian approach to energy legislation.  On the Senate Floor today, Senator Bingaman outlined the myths and the realities of gasoline prices, oil prices and domestic production.  

Energy, especially oil and gasoline prices have been at the forefront of the current Transportation bill before both the House and the Senate this week.  A sticking point in this bill is the Keystone Pipeline XL and much has been made of the impact of this pipeline on the rising price of gasoline today. 

Senator Bingaman, in a reasoned and articulate speech, laid out the causes of higher gasoline prices in the United States.  In a direct reference to the Keystone Pipeline, Senator Bingaman points out that "we do not face cycles of high gasoline prices in the United States because of a lack of domestic production.  We do not face these cycles of high gasoline prices because of lack of access to federal resources, or because of some environmental regulation that is getting in the way of us obtaining cheap gasoline."  

Instead, the Senator states, prices that we pay for oil and the products refined from oil, such as gasoline, are set on the world market.  They are relatively insensitive to what happens here in the United States with regards to production.  Instead, the world price of oil and our gasoline prices are affected more by events beyond our control, such as instability in Libya last year or instability in Iran and concerns about oil supply in Iran this year.

Senator Bingaman shows that the oil production in the United States is 3rd largest producer of oil, second to the Soviet Union and Saudia Arabia. 

Click here for a full transcript of his remarks.  

Financial Investment in Green Energy Awaits Federal Policy Direction

Peter Fusaro outlined what is necessary to bring major financial institutions to the table with clean innovative energy technology.  Without a clear federal policy, there is not the incentive for banks and other lending institutions to make serious investments in clean technology.  Peter Fusaro, a major pioneer in the field of energy finance, noted author, and the Chair of Global Change Associates gave an excellent presentation at the third Clean Energy Forum in New York yesterday.  made a very insightful presentation investment in green technology.

“Without rules, you get nowhere.”, Fusaro stated, “The failure of Cap and Trade in the last Congressional session presented a serious detriment to major investments in green innovation. Carbon”.    California holds the DNA of Cap and Trade and in that state carbon sells for $14.25/ton. 

Regulatory framework is another key to investment and, as anyone in the energy arena knows, that is a slow and cumbersome process.  Twenty-nine states have a Renewable Portfolio Standard  (RPS) and this compliance driven standard has made a credible difference for companies to invest in renewable energy.  Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) are a huge boast for investments in solar.  There are fourteen states with  SRECS and the state of New Jersey is a perfect example where they have used RPS and SRECs to be 2nd largest state in solar development. 

Presently, the biggest areas of investments include PV Solar, combined heat and power brownfields to greenfields, landfill gas capture, anerobic digestion, and miniturbines. 

Fusaro ended this excellent presentation by saying, " I want green energy to be so mainstream that people don't even call it green"

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